It's nice to finally have something to write about and have the time to write it (barely). Given our unusual child-rearing responsibilities, I guess Laura and I should stop imagining that we might some day have oodles of time in which to relax. Dream on! The more things change, the more they stay the same; so time is always at a premium.
Luckily, some things don't change that much - i.e. passion for fishing - otherwise this blog would already be in the dust. Nevertheless, I have to be more selective these days in how I spend my time, and it has certainly reduced the number of entries I will be able to post here. But spending a Saturday on a boat with my brother in-law, two of his daughters and my son Samuel, qualifies as time well spent. So that's what I did last week, and I'm glad to take a few moments to tell you about it.
One word: chaos. Or in other words, absolute, loveable, crazy, funny, giggly, fishie-thrashing, wormy-wiggley, goofy, loud, let me reel this in, let me reel that in, can you put on another worm, she did this, he did that, I'm hungry, I'm thirsty, let's go tubing, let's go fishing (etc...) chaos! It was two adults vs. three kids, and I can't say that the two adults had the advantage at any point in time.
We all shared good luck, though: the fishing was incredibly easy, and the fisher-people were easily delighted by their success. Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, Largemouth Bass and Smallmouth Bass, all very little and very spunky, literally filled the boat. No need to anchor the boat, just drift with the gentle breeze & throw out a few lines rigged with jig & worm, on a lake that is roughly 22 feet at its deepest. The action rarely slowed down, but at one point I was lucky that it did.
Only one time during the whole day did my brother in-law and myself have the fishing all to ourselves. That blissful moment lasted barely two minutes when it was shattered by a heavy thump at the end of my line. It's been a long time since I fished with a closed reel on a 4.5 ft fiberglass rod, so I immediately understood that though it felt like a salmon, it was very likely not one. Not up here in the Kawarthas!
Once the kids realized that "papa" or "unco Paul" had something substantial at the end of his line, the atmosphere in the boat became positively tense and expectant. It was silence, blessed silence - and I had the big one on! ...Must be payback for all the fishing I missed this summer! I didn't have much doubt as to what it was, because it didn't really run or try to jump, although it was heavy and gave the little reel everything it could handle. It might have been a carp, but when I finally pulled it up to where we could see it, the white splash at the bottom of the tail, and the golden sheen on its side belied a Walleye. The biggest I've caught, actually.
The oohs and aahs from the children were a nice experience, after that. And when they saw the giant in the net, they all wanted to touch it. "Watch out for the teeth," I said. "Well, do we let it go or bring it home to Gramma?" The unanimous choice was that Gramma should get to enjoy one of her favourite meals: fresh, pan-fried Walleye! So a lesson ensued regarding how to kill a fish humanely, since we couldn't leave it on the stringer if we were going to be tubing later on. We laid the fish on ice, closed the cooler lid and chucked the tube in the water.
In the end, I was proud of my son, for liking the tube as much
as his older cousins and for getting over his squeemishness when it comes to touching the fishies. The little Largemouth Bass was a pretty good choice, too. It was a great way to spend what will go down as a memorable day for all of us. Samuel might be the only one with memory issues later on. He's not quite three yet... Do you remember anything from before you were three?